Kabbalah By Heart

Allison Gilbert, LMFT, Certified Kabbalah Coach


What Are Miracles?

Posted on December 10, 2022 at 2:40 PM

We are now in the month of Kislev, past the full moon, coming close to the holiday of Chanukah. And so, as the moon turns darker, we will start lighting the menorah on the 25th of Kislev (this year that day starts at sunset on the 18th of Dec.). Each night we'll be adding one more candle until the entire menorah of 8 candles is lit up on the darkest night of winter.


See the free preview of the "How to Celebrate Chanukah" handout on my Kabbalah and Judaism 101 online school in the course called "Learn About the Winter Calendar".


Publicizing the Miracle

We light the menorah by the front door or window so it can be seen from the outside of our homes - in order to "publicize the miracle" that happened when the Maccabees fought the Syrian-Greeks and took back control of the 2nd Temple. This was before the Romans finally destroyed it and the Jewish people were exiled from their homeland for 2000 years. (In the 1880's, they miraculously started moving back to that land!!) So what's the miracle of Chanukah that we are supposed to be publicizing anyway???


We don't celebrate the miracle of the small band of soldiers who fought off a huge army, though that was a completely amazing miracle! Instead, we celebrate the miracle of a tiny cruse of oil lighting up the Temple menorah for 8 nights. A tiny bit of the sacred oil was discovered undamaged but it was only enough for 1 night! Still, it lasted for 8! That's the miracle we are publicizing.


To me this translates as: When the "Temple" of your life seems completely defiled and even unkosher pigs have been slaughtered on your "alter", please remember that a tiny bit of "sacred oil" can transform EVERYTHING, doing more than you ever could have believed!


The Dark Moon of Kislev

It's finally raining in California! Rain is a holy gift from G-d. As I look out at the trees all around me in my new home, I notice that every drop of rain on the trees looks like a pinprick of light this morning as the sky clears. Now isn't that a miracle? Rain in California seems like a miraculous event after many years of drought.


According to Kabbalah, the darkest places contain the most light. What does that mean? Why does it feel so good after a dark day of rain? How is it that the darkest times in our lives bring us the most growth, healing and renewal? Can you see the miraculous oil in the midst of your own dark times? Have you been noticing any miracles in your lives over the past 2 weeks since the coming of this darkest month of miracles?



But what IS a miracle? According to the Tzamach Tzedek there are four types of miracles:


"1. Those that supersede nature entirely, such as occurred in the Exodus from Egypt.


2. Miracles flimsily dressed in a guise of nature, such as the victory of Chanukah {of the few over the many} and the Purim story {the story of Esther}.


3. Miracles of coincidence and synchronicity, where it is apparent that things out of the ordinary have occurred – yet all events have normal explanations.


4. Miracles that go unnoticed, perhaps even perceived as unfortunate. This last form is the greatest of all. A time will come when our eyes will open and we will see these hidden miracles and say, ‘The miracles of Egypt are nothing in comparison to these.'"


This life can sometimes seem like challenge after challenge after challenge. Just when one is resolved, up comes another one. The challenges are even coming faster now that it seems like time has revved up! It's hard to keep our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes in the direction of perceiving the miraculous amidst all the darkness. Still, each challenge that comes in is so perfectly tailored to the development of each individual soul that the challenge itself can seem miraculous!


Gratitude Brings Miracles

If you can focus your mind to look for miracles, you are really focusing your mind to look for the good things that are happening to you. If you think about what you have in your life, rather than what you don't have, you will feel a sense of gratitude. That gratitude can expand you into a sense of the miraculous. Some people make a list of things they are grateful for at the end of each day - to help them focus their minds on gratitude.


That tiny pinprick of Light builds on itself. As you look for miracles and focus on gratitude, you will begin to see that your life is exactly the way it's supposed to be. Challenge yourself - can you even be grateful for the hard things in life? When something difficult comes up, can you refocus your mind on what you are gaining from this situation? Doing so can help you to see the biggest light hidden within the darkest places.


I have posted my lessons on the winter months of the Jewish calendar. Here you'll find the handout for how to celebrate Chanukah. The whole 3 month course can be found here:


I have made it so that the entire month of Tevet is viewable for free. That's the month of anger - so it can be helpful to those who have challenges dealing with this emotion.


Enjoy! And Happy Chanukah. May you find that tiny bit of "oil" bringing you a miraculous new Light this season. May you reveal all of your hidden miracles!



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